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July 2008

links for 2008-07-21

kick-starting your social media marketing - 10 Easy Steps

Progress When speaking about corporate social media, we often think about the one-to-one meaningful conversations, and the role that empowered brands can play within this dynamic.  The raw power of one-to-one relationship marketing is enough to make even the most experienced marketers cringe and shout for joy, often at the same time. 

However, for many corporations, this level of integration is simple not feasible (with luck things may turn around in the days to come).

While we're educating, cajoling, planning, strategizing, and sometimes patiently waiting for our clients to adopt a strategic, scalable, truly social, social media capability, here are 10 things nearly any business can and should start doing TODAY!

10 Activation-Ready Social Media Strategies and Tactics

  1. Set up Google Alerts for your brand.  Make sure that at least a junior associate is skimming as much as possible and providing basic reports around brand health.  If you don't know you're active constituency, you aren't going to correctly position your offering.  Simple insights and active exploration can net amazing results - as well as an appreciation for the channel overall.
  2. Set up an open communications channel with Legal.  If Legal doesn't appreciate the social dynamic, they aren't going to give you the clearance you're looking for.  Nothing happens without legal approval.  Such is life in a corporation.  Get over it, so you can get to work.
  3. Listen to the conversation.  Actively listening is a channel activity.  The world's largest focus group sits at your fingertips.  Listen to it.  Poke and prod.  Explore.  If you aren't ready to do this in house, outsource it.  A good vendor can provide you with cost efficient, timely brand health updates, as well as actionable insights into where you can be optimizing your marketing and messaging.  If you are in need of a few such vendors, please feel free to email me.
  4. Share your insights.  Any half decent listening vendor will have lots of great insights into your brand.  The more you share these insights, the more your clients will appreciate your foresite in bringing these solutions to the table.
  5. Enable indirect response to social media.  Not all brands are ready to participate in all conversations.  More often than not, your insights will directly impact multiple facets of your business.  If an issue arises around your product, and you're not equipped for direct response, at least alter your creative copy, brand positioning, search buys etc. - to reflect your corporate point of view.
  6. Get someone from Corporate Communications on Twitter.  Introduce them to friends on Twitter.  Make sure that they become active members of the conversation.  They will soon appreciate both the power and social dynamic of this environment.  Make sure that you have legal clearance for minimal public participation, with lots of wiggle room for more private communications.  This will open up the lines of communication with early adopters today, while building a use-case for future channel usage.
  7. Set up a disaster plan.  The biggest issue with disasters is that noone sees them coming.  Don't wait.  Set up a threshold for defining "disaster" and a plan of action in such an occurance.  It will only take a few hours.  But the potential payoff is tremendous.
  8. Register your domain name, everywhere.  Plurk, Twitter, BriteKite, Ning, AIM, OpenID, Google ID... the list goes on.  There's nothing like buying back your domain name from a squater with more foresite than your entire organization.  Don't be lazy.  At the very least, assign this responsibility to a mindless drone (for now), and prepare for future activation in the days to come.
  9. License as much as possible under a Creative Commons License.  With a shrinking proportionate amount of CC Licensed data and imagery available, open up your doors to the public.  Become a much needed resource for the most vocal part of the community - the content creators.  Limit your watermarking and branding whenever possible.  Make your presence known without trying to own the creative experience.  You don't need to KNOW all the influencers in order to speak to them.  It is often enough to simply create a presence in content discovery channels (see below).
  10. Disaggregate your creative.  Make as much of your content available to as broad an audience as possible.  Optimize your for discovery - both via SEO and proper licensing and insertion into popular social channels (YouTube, Flickr, Google Image Search, SlideShare).  Put a "share this" button wherever appropriate.  Create TinyUrl's for Twitter sharing of your content.  Embrace the new dynamic.  Encourage virality.  Embrace the new dynamic.


  • Go after the strategic low hanging fruits that can be scaled to fit any sized business. 
  • Provide utility today, deliver stronger than expected return on investment on every dollar spent in social media, and your clients will come back to you hungry for more.

Photo credit here

links for 2008-07-17

links for 2008-07-15

if you aren't timely, you aren't relevant and compelling

The Honeymooners

Image via Wikipedia

This statement is not true.

But it is something you need to strongly consider.

Most content has an expiration date. 

Almost all marketing has an expiration date.

Seinfeld may have a nearly timeless appeal.  But with rare exceptions, nearly all content is better the first time around.

So ask yourself - am I that good?  Is my team that good?

Sure, we'd all like to believe that we are on the level on Seinfeld, The Honeymooners and Casablanca - but most of us aren't.

Think long and hard about the timeliness of your campaign versus the depth of your relationship with your target audience.

Is your relationship one that will withstand the test of time?  Is your value timeless? 

Are your relationships built on flights of fancy and constant distributed value, or like an old friend, will your target always invite you into their lives? 

  • Know your place. 
  • Recognize the nature of your relationship, of your strengths and weaknesses.

Plan accordingly.

E3 is missing the boat

E3 E3 is THE big gaming conference.

And naturally, social media is all abuzz.

Keynote presentations or official "press events" generate massive buzz across the interwebs.

Yet there is no official outlet for fan defined clips (ala MixerCast or Hulu).

There is no official outlet for downloading video feeds for viewing on the go.

But hey, it's not like gaming enthusiasts are early adopters of digital channels, right?